Teams re­ceive new clubs

Imperial Valley Press - - FRONT PAGE - BY KA­RINA LOPEZ Sports Writer

Mem­bers of the South­ern Cal­i­for­nia PGA Foun­da­tion spent Wed­nes­day morn­ing and af­ter­noon hand-de­liv­er­ing new Wil­son golf clubs to three de­serv­ing girls’ golf pro­grams in the Im­pe­rial Val­ley.

First on the mem­bers’ stop was the team from Im­pe­rial High, which is only in its third year of ex­is­tence. Tiger head coach Joe Jack Barker said he found out about the op­por­tu­nity for his team through a con­tact at the team’s prac­tice course, Del Rio Coun­try Club in Braw­ley.

Barker said the chance to help his team ob­tain new clubs was too good to pass up and con­tacted the foun­da­tion in hopes they’d select the grow­ing Im­pe­rial pro­gram.

“Th­ese clubs are def­i­nitely go­ing to help us out,” Barker said. “It can be a fi­nan­cial road block for some peo­ple to al­low their kids to com­pete, so this will def­i­nitely help as we try to grow the pro­gram.” The foun­da­tion be­gan do­nat­ing clubs to girls’ golf pro­grams in July and so far has dis­trib­uted more than 160 sets to schools in the CIF-South­ern Sec­tion and now, CIF-San Diego Sec­tion, ex­plained Matt Gil­son, foun­da­tion man­ager.

“This pro­gram was es­tab­lished in April with the pur­pose of grow­ing the par­tic­i­pa­tion of girls’ golf and fos­ter­ing an en­joy­ment of the sport,” Gil­son said.

The LA84 foun­da­tion made the ini­tial do­na­tion, which has since grown with the ef­forts of the PGA Foun­da­tion mem­bers.

The LA84 Foun­da­tion is a non­profit in­sti­tu­tion cre­ated by the Los An­ge­les Olympic Or­ga­niz­ing Com­mit­tee to man­age South­ern Cal­i­for­nia’s en­dow­ment from the 1984 Olympic Games, Gil­son ex­plained. Fol­low­ing the pre­sen­ta­tion at Im­pe­rial High, the PGA Foun­da­tion mem­bers con­tin­ued their quick trip in the Val­ley, by vis­it­ing both Cen­tral Union and Holtville highs.

“This is so ex­cit­ing,” said Spar­tan ju­nior Irene Ro­driguez with a smile. “We nor­mally use clubs that have been do­nated to the school, so it’ll be nice to prac­tice with our own. This is Ro­driguez’s first year on the team and said she has en­joyed be­ing the ex­pe­ri­ence of learn­ing the sport.

“I wanted to try it to step out of my com­fort zone and it turned out to be re­ally fun,” Ro­driguez said. “I’ve en­joyed learn­ing the con­cepts and the men­tal part of the game.”

KA­RINA LOPEZ PHOTO

The Im­pe­rial High girls’ golf team and coaches smile for a photo af­ter re­ceiv­ing a new set of golf clubs from the PGA South­ern Cal­i­for­nia Sec­tion dur­ing a short cer­e­mony on Wed­nes­day morn­ing in Im­pe­rial.

KA­RINA LOPEZ PHOTO

The Cen­tral Union High girls’ golf team re­acts af­ter re­ceiv­ing a new set of golf clubs from the PGA South­ern Cal­i­for­nia Sec­tion dur­ing a short cer­e­mony on Wed­nes­day morn­ing in El Cen­tro.

PHOTO COURTESY OF AL­FREDO GUZ­MAN

The Holtville High girls’ golf team was the third of three lo­cal pro­grams to re­ceive clubs from PGA South­ern Cal­i­for­nia on Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon.

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